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justice

Michael Collins: Scalia Sets Standard for Massive Mortgage Fraud Class Action Law Suit

There hasn't been much in the way of justice for the average citizen for quite a while.  Often, those accused of crimes cannot afford adequate representation and are subject to "let's make a deal justice."  If you're unfortunate enough to be sued or party to a divorce proceeding, you soon learn that the court system is an entitlement program for attorneys, not a civilized means of settling disputes. (Image)

The last decade has been devastating for what many thought were inviolable fundamental rights.  The Bush administration dismantled as much of the Constitution as time allowed including habeas corpus which prevents detention without a charge. Through a presidential directive, an even older legal tradition went by the way, the right to be indicted and tried before facing capital punishment.  I am, of course, referring to President Obama's declared option to assassinate citizens of the United States identified as terrorists by anonymous bureaucrats.

Al Jazeera English: Iraqis flee Cairo for safety in Baghdad

Much of the world is absorbed in the transformative events taking place across Egypt, the 85 million-person leader of the Arab world.

So have we.  I have been unable to break away from the live stream video @ Al Jazeera English until I was forced to when the stream proved unavailable this morning and I had to search up an alternative real time source, at Youtube

I thought that it must be time to step back a bit, towards normalcy, and all of the things that pile up on top of the priority list which must come before volunteering effort here...until I saw the headline for this video, and found the need to post it.

Thank God for Al Jazeera English, I remember back when the US had such media!

Iraqis flee Cairo for safety in Baghdad

I hope for the best, safest outcome possible to the people of Egypt and Iraq, and one that leaves to people of each country a destiny they choose and make for themselves. 

New Facts Call Into Question DOJ Investigations Past and Present

By Andrew Kreig posted by Michael Collins

2010-07-26-NoraR.Dannehy.jpg

Four days before Connecticut's Nora Dannehy was appointed to investigate the Bush administration's U.S. attorney firing scandal, a team of lawyers she led was found to have illegally suppressed evidence in a major political corruption case.

This previously unreported fact from Dannehy's past calls into question her entire national investigation. The revelation similarly compromises the pending investigation by her Connecticut colleague, John Durham, who since 2008 has been the nation's special prosecutor for DOJ and CIA decision-making involving torture.

Here's the story, which the Justice Integrity Project I lead just broke in Nieman Watchdog:

In September 2008, the Bush Justice Department appointed Connecticut career federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy to investigate allegations that Bush officials in 2006 illegally fired nine U.S. attorneys who wouldn't politicize official corruption investigations.

But just four days before her appointment, a federal appeals court had ruled that a team of prosecutors led by Dannehy illegally suppressed evidence in a major political corruption case in Connecticut. The prosecutors' misconduct was so serious that the court vacated seven of the eight convictions in the case.

Sections: 

Court Vacates Siegelman Charges, As Kagan and DOJ Team Lose

By Andrew Kreig
Huffington Post, June 29

"As a start in redressing the nation's most notorious political prosecution, the Supreme Court today released its decision vacating federal corruption convictions of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and co-defendant businessman Richard Scrushy

"The court remanded their Alabama convictions to the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta despite arguments last November by Solicitor General Elena Kagan that their convictions should stand." More

And, of course, previously from ePluribus Media, Elena Kagan - Willing Accomplice

Rumors of Roberts Stepping Down from SCOTUS?

From ctblogger I caught a cross your fingers and hope it is true comment linking to this story:

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Considering Stepping Down

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

, is seriously considering stepping down from the nation’s highest court for personal reasons, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.

Absolutely no sources in the story... Zip. Zero. Nada. But imagine the SCOTUS being taken out of the screwardship of that far right wing activist judges' corporate influenced rule?

[update - CM1] Linkbait? Radaronline updated with:

Update: RadarOnline.com has obtained new information that Justice Roberts will NOT resign. The justice will be staying on the bench.

Priorities, Suborning The Rule of Law and Subpoenas

I just came across this little blurb on CNN regarding the "party crasher" incident at the White House:

It was unclear whether the Salahis would accept the committee's invitation to testify, according to the committee's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi.

"Late this evening, I was informed by the Salahis' counsel, that their clients, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, may not appear before the Committee tomorrow as requested," Thompson said in a statement released Wednesday evening. "If the Salahis are absent from tomorrow's hearing, the Committee is prepared to move forward with subpoenas to compel their appearance."

Really? Prepared to move forward with subpoenas to compel their appearance?

Kid Pro Quo: PA Juvenile "Justice" System Upended

Yes, I use the word "justice" loosely there for the fact that there was no real justice in Judge Mark Ciavarella's court room. If you were a kid you were just a commodity to be sold off and incarcerated for his own personal enrichement:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled late Thursday that almost all juvenile delinquency cases heard by former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella from Jan. 1, 2003 to May 31, 2008 must be thrown out.

Ciavarella took millions in kickbacks to incarcerate juvenile offenders in private detention facilities.

The affect of this recent decision is that it could effect change in as many as 6500 kids' sentences. ABC has some video and a nice writeup updating this story:

The ACORN I Know By David Swanson

[Reposted from author's site with permission]

By David Swanson

If someone told you that a bunch of low-income people, most of them African-American or Latino, most of them women, most of them elderly, had been victimized by a predatory mortgage lender that stripped them of much of their equity or of their entire homes, you might not be surprised. But if I told you that these women and men had gotten together and, after three years of work, brought the nation's largest high-cost lender to its knees, forced it to sell out to a foreign company, and won back a half a billion dollars of what had been taken from them-one of the largest consumer settlements ever-you'd probably ask me what country this had happened in. Surely it couldn't have been in the United States of the Second Gilded Age, the land of unbridled corporate power and radical government activism on behalf of the rich and the greedy.

Yet, it was. These victims identified a problem and named it "predatory lending" in the late 1990s. Their campaign to reform Household International (also known as Household Finance and as Beneficial) played out from 2001 to 2003, concluding with a settlement that includes a ban on badmouthing the company. That's why more people haven't heard about this. The families who fought back and defeated Household are barred from bragging about it or teaching the lessons they learned, because that would require recounting the damage that Household did to homes and neighborhoods. These families are members of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

I was ACORN's communications coordinator during much of the Household campaign, but left before it ended. No one has asked me not to tell this story.

Wings of Justice: Could George W. Bush end up behind bars?

To see this posed as a potentially serious question by the commercially-interested media caused my eyes to open a little wider than usual. After 8 or 9 years, they finally consider the prospect?

CNN: Could George W. Bush or some of his top aides end up behind bars?


And then assessed that unlikely outcome in light of the reluctance of Obama Administration to have even started down the retrospective path "look forward, not back."


It's exactly the willingness of political officeholders to overlook their predecessors' disdain for the Constitution and the once-hallowed rule of our law that recycles people like Dick Cheney into second and third terms. He's obviously extended the damage left undone in previous tenures.

Fortunately, beyond also egging wackos on to the farthest reaches of their peculiar universes (some in Texas are about to enshrine 'wisdom' of the likes of Newt Gingrich in their textbooks, have they seceded from the Union yet?), the large vaccuums of responsibility that forward-looking" Administrations leave behind have moved at least some grassroots efforts to creative work-arounds able to get the attention of retiring criminal classes.

Organizing for Spiritual Healing

Netroots Nation has posted a video of my panel, Organizing as a Healing Process: A Fresh Look at PTSD.

Panelists discussed PTSD as a soul wound, an altered spiritual state that enables the sufferer to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances such as war, and severe personal or historical trauma. We related troop PTSD to the symptoms suffered by refugees and the survivors of disaster or genocide. People experiencing soul wounding have witnessed the naked face of humanity stripped of the divine. They are messengers, encouraging awareness of injustice and all that is wrong with our ordering of our world. Organizing heals the wounds of the sufferer, empowering her to tell her personal story, and allowing the rest of us to listen.

Legacy of Wars............

Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin

Backround From 1961 to 1971, U.S. military forces sprayed more than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides on forests and crops in southern and central Vietnam. The campaign had both human and environmental consequences. The immediate effect was to defoliate and destroy vegetation over wide areas. The delayed impact came from dioxin, a highly toxic chemical in Agent Orange that is critically harmful to humans................

Another Loooong Battle Getting Attention/Action

Kudo's Barrack, Kudo's, But Much More Still Needed! US Doubles Funds for Agent Orange Cleanup

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The United States government has doubled its funding for dealing with the environmental and health consequences of its wartime use in Vietnam of the toxic herbicide Agent Orange, the embassy said Friday. President Barack Obama recently signed a bill increasing the funding from $3 million to $6 million, embassy officials said. Most of the money is being used in Danang, where U.S. troops used to mix and store Agent Orange at an Air Force base before loading it onto planes.

Truth, Justice and Hypocrisy in the GOP's Hyper-Partisanship Follies

Explain the logic of why the GOP wants Pelosi to resign again...? Why not just engage a commission to investigate torture to find out exactly what happened, who knew what and when did they know it? Why aren't the GOP pundits and Congress-critters -- both current and former -- naming any of their own and demanding an investigation of everyone and the entire program?

I've seen screeching by insane, unbalanced right-wingers and headlines claiming that the GOP is loudly proclaiming that Pelosi could have objected to the process. That, of course, begs a pertinent question: Which (R) individuals objected? What were they told, and when? Where are calls for their resignations? Why is the GOP so silent on their own involvement and complicity? Why are their pundits and their rabid base of supporters not interested in a full and complete investigation?

And what's so objectionable about criticizing the CIA -- weren't they involved? Haven't they been involved in conspiracies and cover-ups before?

Open Thread -- Justice, American-Style: Doing Time in Iran

Today, from the New York Times:

Iran Sentences American Journalist to 8 Years
By NAZILA FATHI, New York Times

TEHRAN, April 18 - A revolutionary court has sentenced an Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi, to eight years in prison after convicting her of spying for the United States, her lawyer said Saturday.

The "revolutionary court" is, of course, very familiar to us: it's very much like the military tribunals held for Guatanamo inmates, particularly as practiced under the Bush Administration and their strongly politicized Department of Justice.

Hopefully, those practices are being mothballed in America now by the Obama Administration, along with many of the other quaint, highly illegal and unConstitutional practices that the prior Administration prided itself on.

This is an Open Thread.

Open Thread -- Spanish Inquisition Edition

Over the past few months since the inauguration of President Obama, people have speculated about whether or not the various alleged -- and actual -- crimes of the Bush Administration would ever be truly investigated. Some thought that Attorney General Eric Holder would initiate domestic investigations. Some were heartened by the example set by the British as they began their own internal investigation, hoping that the U.S. would soon follow suit.

But nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition...

Well, maybe nobody. But nonetheless, Spain has begun an inquiry and started the process for indicting six former member of the Bush Administration for their actions.

It's about time.

This is an Open Thread.

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